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Schools play a crucial role in developing students and educating them about many topics and skills.
Although common subjects taught in schools such as Mathematics and Science are equally important, cultural diversity education should not be neglected in schools.
This is especially true since, as generations go by, our world has become increasingly diverse and accepting. Therefore, it is important that all students understand the different aspects of cultural diversity as well as embrace them as a whole.
This article dives deeper into the different types of cultural diversity as well as the significance of its education in schools.
Types of Cultural Diversity
Students will have to understand all the different types of cultural diversity in order to develop into socially minded people. The most common types include, but are not limited to:
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Race divides people into groups, usually based on the physical characteristics of an individual, such as their skin colour. Examples include Asians and Americans.
This can impact students and change their views of themselves and other people when interacting with them.
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Religion divides people into groups, usually based on their beliefs in different kinds of gods or spiritual activities that they are connected with, if they have any. Examples include Christianity and Hinduism.
This can cause students to react differently to various materials based on their religion, whether negatively or positively.
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Although ethnicity is identified similarly to race, it divides people mostly based on cultural expression and identification. Race is biological, but ethnicity is more of something people learn from either their culture or family.
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Although English is the main language used in Singapore schools, it may not be the first language for every student. They may speak other languages and dialects at home instead, such as Japanese and Cantonese.
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The three categories in which people are classified in Singapore are low, medium, and high. Students with low socio-economic status may not even have access to study materials, which can cause them a lot of stress and struggle.
WHY Is It Important?
Increases Inclusion And Acceptance
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Students who come from various backgrounds will also feel more respected and will face fewer stereotypes and prejudices. Teaching cultural diversity helps create an inclusive learning environment where students from various backgrounds feel valued and respected.
By exposing students to different cultures, traditions, and perspectives, schools promote acceptance and reduce stereotypes and prejudices.
Students learn to appreciate the uniqueness of each individual and develop empathy for those who may have different backgrounds or experiences.
Develops Critical Thinking Skills
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Learning and understanding the different aspects of cultural diversity encourages students to think critically and analyze different perspectives.
This expands their knowledge and their views on the world as they learn to engage in discussions about different social issues.
Therefore, by learning more about cultural diversity, they learn how to challenge themselves and come up with different solutions with an open mind.
Enables More Students To Be Global-minded
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Educating students on cultural diversity enables them to recognise and understand people from all around the world, as well as global issues like climate change and poverty.
They will be more encouraged and prepared to step in and take action to improve society as a whole at a younger age.
Improves Communication Skills
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Students will be provided with many opportunities to interact and communicate with peers from different backgrounds.
They will learn how to put aside cultural differences and develop respect for different cultures. Students will also learn to listen actively and may even learn a thing or two from others, such as their language and practices.
Prepares Students For The Workplace
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When schools educate students about cultural diversity, they also prepare them for the future workforce.
Not only will they be able to adapt to different situations, but they will also learn to form several good relationships with others.
Companies tend to look for and value people like them, as they can work well and effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and make many positive contributions to the company.
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Including cultural diversity in school education helps shape students into prepared and open-minded individuals in a multicultural world.
Therefore, by teaching it in schools, students will have a head start in learning, and they will also learn faster since they will learn from a young age.